When you buy a vehicle from CarMax, you want it to work right from the start. If there are problems with the engine, tires, or anything in between, you’re out the money and still don’t have a safe, reliable vehicle to drive to all your key destinations.

Fortunately, you can get your money back by sending a demand letter - and if needed - filing a lawsuit against CarMax. You just have to move through the following steps to prove your claim that CarMax sold me a bad car and have the best chance at getting your money back.

Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to do.

1. Start with a Conversation

Before moving forward with a small claims lawsuit, contact CarMax directly to see if you can get a resolution. You can get in touch with their team by calling the customer service line at (800) 519-1511.

If you prefer to contact them online, use Twitter. Find their account by looking up their handle @CarMax. Then, use the direct messaging system to get in touch.

Either way, be prepared to clearly describe the problem you have with your car. Back up your claims with any paperwork you have from tow companies, parts stores, and auto repair shops.

If you do not get the desired response from CarMax, think about filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. You can also fill out a complaint form at your local DMV to have their team investigate your claims and help find an acceptable solution.  

2. Send Over a Demand Letter

Upon failing to get the desired response, you may need to send over a demand letter. With that move, you will officially share your intent to sue CarMax for selling you a bad car. The company will have a chance to rectify the problem before you move forward with the lawsuit.

To write an effective demand letter, you need to clearly outline the problem and how you’d like it resolved. Also, provide your contact information and where to send the payment if they decide to refund your money.

Your demand letter must go to the registered agent for CarMax. You can find the agent’s contact details by checking with the California Secretary of State.

If you’d like to streamline this process, look to Dispute for help. Through our state-of-the-art platform, you just have to move through the guided steps to create and send a demand letter.  In our experiences, 72% of sent letters get paid within 2 weeks.

3. File Your Lawsuit Paperwork

You can file a lawsuit in small claims court if you haven’t gotten the desired response from your demand letter. To do that, simply fill out the paperwork and submit it at your local courthouse.

You will need the contact information for CarMax’s registered agent and your own contact info as well. Upon filling out the form, you’ll give it to the court clerk along with the filing fee, which is usually $20 to $50.

The court clerk will provide the hearing date on the form, telling you just when to show up to present your case to the court. You must serve CarMax with the completed paperwork, so they know when to come to court as well.

Dispute can help with generating your small claims paperwork. After completing your paperwork and filing it with the court, you may need to hire a professional process server to deliver the documents to the registered agent for CarMax. Alternatively, you can ask an adult unrelated to the case to serve the court paperwork.  

4. Go to Court to Present Your Case

On the scheduled hearing date, show up ready to present your case. You will need to have all your evidence on hand, including your purchase contract, invoice, and demand letter.

In small claims court, you don’t need to have a lawyer or know any legal processes. You just need to tell the judge or arbitrator about how CarMax sold you a bad car and what you’ve done to resolve the issue. Share any info about the company’s response to your complaints as well.

The registered agent will also have a turn to speak and refute your claims. After that, the judge will review the case info and share their final verdict.

Want Help Suing CarMax for Selling You a Bad Car?

If you’ve purchased a bad car from CarMax, it’s possible to sue them and recoup your losses in small claims court. You will just need to try to resolve the situation with customer service and other entities, like the Better Business Bureau. Then, send a demand letter to see if the company will buy back the car or offer another resolution.

You can move on to filing your small claims court paperwork if the demand letter does not get the right response. After that, you just have to show up to court, ready to present your case to the judge. For help getting started, look to Dispute—the world’s most advanced legal platform.